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Scotland to join EU after independence: EU official

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Scottish Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Scottish deputy first minister says the European Union will not deny Scotland the right to join the bloc if it achieves independence from the UK, a media report says.

The European Union will accept Scotland’s membership by March 2016 after the country becomes legally independent from the United Kingdom within 18 months of voting for independence, The Guardian cited Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as saying on Tuesday.

Following a successful September vote for independence, Edinburgh would hold parallel talks with the UK and the European commission to ensure that Scotland become an independent member of the EU, the official added.

To deny Scotland’s entrance into the European Union would be “enormously disruptive, not just for Scotland, but for the entire European Union,” Sturgeon said, adding, “It would also be against the founding principles of the EU because Scotland would be effectively punished for exercising its democratic right to self-determination.”

Her remarks follow recent comments by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso who said it would be “extremely difficult, if not impossible” for an independent Scotland to get the approval of all member states to join the EU.

Barroso warned that some EU states will block Scotland’s membership bid as they want to prevent similar moves by their own semi-autonomous regions.

“The decision on Scottish independence is for the Scottish people and the decision about continuing membership of the European Union is for the member states. It is a not a decision for the European commission,” Sturgeon reaffirmed.

Scotland will have its independence day on 24 March, 2016 if Scottish people vote to break away from the UK in a referendum on 18 September, 2014 after more than 300 years of political union.


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